WATERTOWN, Wis. – Maranatha opened the regular season in a thriller against Marian University, fending off a pesky Sabre team in a 56-51 win.
Maranatha shot out of the gates with a 10-3 lead on a layup by senior guard Kristin Morrison (Jefferson, Wis.), but Marian cut the lead by four at 10 minutes.
The Crusaders went back up again by 13, thanks in large part to the team’s efforts in the paint, as Maranatha carried a 16-4 advantage in the first half alone.
Such efforts were evident from senior Torey DeLozier (Watertown, Wis.), freshman Stacie Ross (Wyoming, Mich.) and junior Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, Ill.) in below the hoop, with Maranatha out-rebounding their opponent, 49-33.
Despite the paint points, Marian still found ways to hit timely three-pointers, combined with Maranatha’s turnovers to pull within one.
In each pushback by Marian though, the Crusaders responded with a mini-run of their own, one of which came on a jumper by freshman Stacy Reinke (Clintonville, Wis.) to put Maranatha ahead by nine.
The team hung on for the next few minutes, enduring several hard fouls, and hitting enough shots to keep Marian out of the win column, while recording their first win, and conference win of the season.
Senior guard Autumn Peotter (Waupaca, Wis.) finished with a game-high 12 points, and also had seven rebounds and four steals. DeLozier finished with 10 points, and 13 rebounds and Ross contributed eight points and nine rebounds.
Maranatha will wait until after Thanksgiving break to face Alverno College on Tuesday, November 27 at 7:00 p.m. in Milwaukee, Wis.